The Coupled Electro-Mechanical Behaviour of Nanocomposites

J.M. Wernik, S.A. Meguid
University of Toronto, CA

Keywords: nanocomposite, multifunctional, multiscale, conductivity


In the past two decades, practical realisation of composites began to shift from microscale-reinforced composites to nano-reinforced composites using carbon nanotubes (CNTs). There are a number of advantages that result from dispersing CNTs into polymeric materials. For example, whereas traditional composites can use over 40 wt % of the reinforcing phase, the dispersion of just 0.1 wt% of CNTs into a polymeric matrix could lead to dramatic changes in their mechanical and electrical properties, leading to added functionalities. The objective of this work is to develop intelligent nano-tailored structural adhesive bonds for aerospace applications that have the ability to self-monitor their structural integrity. Four aspects of the work are accordingly examined: (1) Develop newly tailored adhesive bonds by homogeneously dispersing nanofillers in the thermoset adhesive to tailor their electrical and mechanical properties, (2) Evaluate experimentally the newly tailored properties using highly specialized mechanical and electrical tests to characterize the newly attained effective properties, and (3) Predict the effective mechanical and electrical properties of the newly developed adhesive bonds using appropriate computational nanomechanics and Monte-Carlo simulations.